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Who is Jimmy McPeake?


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Francis McPeake on trial (2)
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GUEST,Ewan McVicar 15 Jul 00 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 15 Jul 00 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 15 Jul 00 - 06:07 AM
John Moulden 15 Jul 00 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Henry 15 Jul 00 - 09:22 AM
John Moulden 15 Jul 00 - 05:41 PM
Murray MacLeod 15 Jul 00 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 16 Jul 00 - 03:51 AM
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Subject: Who is Jimmy McPeake?
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 05:47 AM

On another thread I just posted the following text, and I now realise I'd have been better to start a new one. I've a notion that the thorny question of who wrote what part of Wild Mountain Thyme has been well aired beofre in this forum, but that is not reflected in the Digital Tradition, so let's have another look. -------------- Message to a thread about 'There Was An Old Piper': Thought I'd see what the Digital Trad has to say on ownership of Wild Mountain Thyme. The lyric itself says copyright Jimmy McPeake. Beside another old religious lyric which is clearly a part source it is flatly stated that Francis McPeake (old Francie, this, rather than middle Francie, of course) 'wrote it' i.e. WMT. The latter discussion at least acknowledges that the old religious lyric is founded on The Braes of Balquidder lyric and tune. The words 'copyright' and 'wrote' are different things of course. Who is this Jimmy McPeake, by the way? I suppose a current mover and shaker in the family. Can he own copyright on behalf of someone else who made the song?

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Subject: RE: Who is Jimmy McPeake?
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 06:01 AM

As I rather expected, the whole WMT matter was well chewed and spat out back in April while I was somewhere else. I do think that some of that excellent material should be attached to the song lyric in the DT, to counterbalance the bald statement of copyright ownership by Jimmy McPeake - and I still would like to know who this is, and how he can claim the copyright. Old Francie could at least claim 'new words by' in the usual manner, and get 7/12s or so under the British PRS system, but the habit of claiming the lot is around, and hallowed by record company policy. There was a great book about this published many years ago, a title like Big Music From Small Countries. In that I learned that in the Swedish copyright catalogue the Swahili song Malaika has 25 differnet composers listed, including all four members of Abba. Yet Peter Tsotsi, who at least remade it and made it a Hit Parade number in Nairobi in the early 60s, get zilch. It got into the folk repertoire through Pete Seeger, who heard it on Kenya radio, then recorded it and as you'd expect gave Peter Tsotsi his credit. Everyone else heard it from PS, and thought "He's recorded it, must be a trad folk song. Grab the copyright quick." (I think we've covered Malaika ground here before, but a while ago. There's many a good new gallop can be had over old ground.)

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Subject: RE: Who is Jimmy McPeake?
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 06:07 AM

Damn it, I just looked up an old thread from 1998 and found I'd said Peter Tsotsi here, when I should have said Fadhali William. And there was me on my high horse about accuracy in ownership credits. Pride before a fall. I'll abandon further equine metaphors, and see if anyone else wants to contribute to this thread for a change! But before I go, the latest credit I know for Malaika is Angelique Kido, who called it a traditional Tanzanian lullaby. It is in fact a song about a man who laments he has not enough bride price money to buy Malaika (angel) from her father.

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Subject: RE: Who is Jimmy McPeake?
From: John Moulden
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 09:16 AM

Without going into the accuracy or reasonableness of the copyright claim I can throw light on some of this. In the beginning, there was Francis McPeake, protegé of Francis Joseph Bigger and Roger Casement. He learned pipes (see Francis O'Neill: Irish Music and Musicians) and at some stage played with a Welsh harper. He also took to singing to his pipes. When his two sons were growing he apprenticed one (also Francis) to the pipes and the younger (James) to the harp. These were the members of the McPeake Family trio who won the Llangollen Eisteddfod in the fifties. James (Jimmy) still survives and is the person named in the copyright statement.

After his father's death and the adoption of the family formula by his brother Francis' family (and after Francis II's death by his son Francis), Jimmy's musical direction altered. He was and may still be a member of the folk group Barnbrack, whose most famous song is the inane "Mickey Marley's Roundabout"

Presumably Jimmy was his father's legatee in the matter of the copyright - or else there's been some family arrangement - or maybe Jimmy's more opportunistic than the rest of the, now very extended family.

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Subject: RE: Who is Jimmy McPeake?
From: GUEST,Henry
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 09:22 AM

John, look up my postings to earlier threads on this washed and bleached issue. This must be the Dracula of Mudcat threads. It keeps popping up despite its prolonged exposure to the light. I wish I had a wooden stake to nail it once and for all! Henry

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Subject: RE: Who is Jimmy McPeake?
From: John Moulden
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 05:41 PM


I agree that the "Wild Mountain Thyme" keeps on springing up, but I have nowhere seen any information about Jimmy McPeake. Did you post that somewhere?

As to the Hamilton/Tannahill/McPeake authorship, version relationship question, I know as much as most people but chose to leave it aside; as I said. What is more, a claim to copyright can be made by anyone; and often is - and we've had this conversation ad nauseam also. However, when recorded in Belfast in July 1952, Frank McPeake (then aged 67) said "There's a song I heard an old uncle of mine singing years and years ago; it's "WIll you go lassie go"" After singing it he was questioned by Sean O'Boyle as to his source. He said it came from his uncle, a cattle dealer from Monaghan who sang numbers of songs. Frank said that he hadn't remembered the last verse but that he liked it and worked it out on the pipes. Sean O'Boyle suggested to him that it was Scottish.

At that stage, probably the first time it was produced for the admiration of song collectors, Frank made no suggestion that he had written it. Nor was any such claim made when this recording was published on the HMV 10 inch LP "Folk Song Today" or the Prestige "The McPeake Family of Belfast" (There is though an implication that Frank made his own last verse.)

So who made the claim - or is it one of those myths which doesn't gets nailed till we begin thinking?

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Subject: RE: Who is Jimmy McPeake?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 07:02 PM

The erudition of Mudcatters leaves me speechless. But this is just a note to Ewan to say " Maggie Cruickshank from Edinburgh tells me to say Hello to Ewan". So, Hello from Maggie.

Murray (who has also appeared on stage with Tony McManus btw)

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Subject: RE: Who is Jimmy McPeake?
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 03:51 AM

John, Thanks indeed for the best and clearest confirmation I've seen in this forum that my vague and confused recollection of statements heard in the late 1950s has strong basis.

Henry, that's why it is worth asking an old question in a new way sometimes - you get old information which is new to you. Sorry if I'm boring you, but please tell us about Jimmy McPeake, and if he has the right he asserts.

Murray, tell Maggie hullo. Does she know there's an Old Timey session at 8pm tonight in the Tass?

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